One of our worst fears is finding out our pet is missing. What should you do if your pet is missing? We are going to address some steps a person should take if they are missing a furry family member.
We interviewed Stephanie Smith, the Director of White County Animal Shelter and asked her what her best advice was to follow if you are missing a pet. Stephanie says when it comes to dogs, the best step to take is something to do before the pet goes missing:
1.Put a collar on your dog with your name and phone number. Or putting the rabies tag on your dog’s collar (If your dog is wearing the rabies tag, a person can search the State of Tennessee’s database to find who this dog belongs to because all this).
2. Microchipping. This is a simple option that is available at most vet offices. This is an implant that can be scanned and the dog's chip will show your information for a safe return.
3. Check the shelters. It is best to physically check each shelter, so you can ensure your dog/cat isn't missed by small details.
There are 2 shelters in White County and you need to personally contact both shelters. There is the Sparta Animal Control in town that can be reached at: 931-607-3177, and White County Animal Shelter that can be reached at: 931-761-3647. It is recommended to call and file a missing pet report. Some of these missing pet reports can be filed online. For your convenience, the White County Animal Shelter’s website: www.whitecountyanimalshelter.com has a Lost & Found online form that you can submit if you have lost or found a pet.
The White CountyAnimal Shelter is located at 5600 Gum Springs Mountain Rd, Sparta, TN.
The Sparta City Shelter is located at 443 E. Bronson St, Sparta TN.
4. Use the internet and social media to help find your dog or cat. Facebook is a powerful tool used to reunite pets with owners every day. There are many Facebook Groups or Pages that showcase missing or found pets in the area. You may have to ask to join a Facebook group before you are actually allowed to post pictures or etc. in the group but after you join, you can post photos of your missing pet and the area where the pet went missing.
Some of the best Facebook pages to post or share information about pets (on Facebook only) is in the following groups or Facebook pages: “Friends of White County Animals”, “White County Animal Shelter”, “White County, Sparta Tennessee – Lost & Found Pets”, “Rescue 931 Cookeville TN and surrounding areas Lost and Found Pets”. If you are not on Facebook, there are still many internet sites that you can check for your missing pets. You can check the White County Animal Shelter’s Website: www.whitecountyanimalshelter.com, also the websites: www.lostmydoggie.com, www.pawboost.com, and www.lsn.com. It is a good idea to also check area adoption websites like: www.petfinder.com and www.adoptapet.comto make sure your pet has not been put up for adoption if it has been missing for some time. You can search these website by zip codes.
5. Post an ad in the the local paper.
“The Expositor”, also has a Lost & Found Ad page to post missing pets. Call the Expositor newspaper at 931-836-3284 for more information. These ads are free unless you want to upgrade the ad with a picture of your pet. There are also smart phone apps that you can download and utilize to broadcast neighborhood news and help locate a missing pet like the phone app “Nextdoor” where your whole neighborhood utilizes the social network to post information concerning the neighborhood such as lost or found pets and etc.
6. Post flyers with a picture of your missing pet in the community at businesses and Vet offices.
There are websites that have handy templates to utilize for printing these fliers. You may also want to go door to door and ask about your missing pet.
7. Put something outside with your pet’s smell.
If it is a cat, put the litter box outside. If it is a dog, put the dog’s blanket or bed outside. This may help your pet find it’s way home.
Keep your pet safe at home is to have your pet spayed or neutered. Although a fixed animal may still roam, it will not roam as much or get into fights and become injured if he or she is fixed. If your pet is not fixed, please contact the White County Humane Society about the options available or for financial assistance in getting your pets fixed. Their number is: 931-935-8377.
We are located in Sparta, White County, Tennessee. We serve the entire White County community.